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E.P. Carillo Selección Oscuro Small Churchill

E.P. Carillo Selección Oscuro Small Churchill 1Does anyone remember the tissue wrapped El Rey del Mundo Oscuro from Villazon? I'm sure it’s still being produced, but I haven't seen or smoked one in ages. It used to be one of my ‘go-to’ cigars. Well, I have finally found a worthy replacement. The E.P. Carillo Selección Oscuro takes me back to the flavor profile of the El Rey del Mundo, but with a higher octane rating.

Size: 5½ inches by 50 ring gauge (Robusto)

Wrapper: Mexico San Andres Oscuro
Binder: Ecuador
Filler: Nicaragua

The Selección Oscuro Small Churchill is adorned with a double band in a simple but classic style - black & gold with red & white highlights. The wrapper has a rather rustic appearance and of course, being Oscuro, is a rather dark brown. Overall, this is a good looking cigar with a nice heft, as well as no soft spots or noticeable imperfections.

Holding the foot close to my nose, I am greeted with a combination of sweetness and leather - a very intoxicating blend of scents. 

(Before lighting up the E.P. Carillo, I had sampled two other cigars, both containing my flavor profile of preference – that is, lots of spice and pepper. Those two cigars were both nice. But for some reason, they just weren't satisfying my craving for the day. I was obviously in the mood for something heavy and rich.)

I decide to use a guillotine cut for this one, and the cap cuts cleanly.

I put a flame to this Selección, and am happy to discover I’ve found exactly what I was craving on this day. On the very first draw, I’m greeted with the taste of deep, rich chocolate along with a hit of black pepper - not so much pepper as to be overwhelming, but not really a background player either. In short, simply a perfect balance and combination of flavor sensations.

As I am sitting enjoying this cigar and reveling in the moment, I detect a little more of an espresso taste creeping in, which tones down the spice and pepper just a bit. After all, there is only room enough for just so many players on this stage.

I continue my trip into the mid portion of this smoke, and haven’t yet had to do any corrections to the burn. The ash is firm, with a mottled grey and white appearance. 
The draw, from the start, has been very pleasing, allowing for a large volume of smoke.

I take notice that the flavors of this cigar continue to subtly change during the journey - never any wild swings, but instead a sense that the pepper, chocolate and espresso are taking turns showing off their attributes, with none overpowering the other at any time.

So far, I would peg this cigar at medium to full strength, and full in body and flavor. I am now midway through the stick, and begin to detect yet another player to the show - one of creaminess. There seems to be a lot going on here (a good bit of complexity), and I find it hard to distinguish each of the flavors being revealed. All I know, at this point, is that I am enjoying the hell out of this smoke!

As I enter the final third, I still haven’t needed to make any burn corrections. I also find the strength to be escalating a bit - to the point of the cigar being what I would consider full strength.

The body and flavor have remained rich and full throughout. Nearing the end now, the cigar loses a little of its complexity, and leans slightly toward a straightforward sweet tobacco taste. The creaminess has faded, but the espresso and chocolate flavors remain.I finally let the stogie die a quiet death as I let out a sigh of contentment. I have found what I was looking for on this day!

E.P. Carillo Selección Oscuro Small Churchill 2

Parting thoughts…

I think I am like most cigar smokers in that I do have a favorite strength/flavor profile. Most of the time, I favor a fuller bodied, spicy, peppery smoke, with a layer of creaminess and bitter chocolate. With this being said, I also enjoy stepping out of that particular box from time to time, and looking for a change of pace.

This cigar fills those needs perfectly for me today. It provides a good dose of spice and pepper as well as a balanced helping of espresso.

The major ‘change’ for me with this Selección Oscuro is the hefty shot of RICH dark chocolate, which gives the smoke an enjoyable hit of sweetness I was definitely in the mood for.

Would I buy a box of these? Most Definitely!

At the end of the day, I would give the E.P. Carillo Selección Oscuro Small Churchill 4.75 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend you give it a try.

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